Following considerable diplomatic and head-of-state activity from Russia, China and India and from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning “for an end to the harassment of civilian vessels,” a member of the formal leadership of the Houthi-led Ansarullah Movement in Yemen made an announcement on Jan. 19 limiting intended Houthi attacks. Muhammad al-Buheiti said in an interview with Izvestia, “Israeli ships or those in any way connected with Israel will not have the slightest opportunity to sail through the Red Sea. The attacks on them will continue. As for all other countries, including Russia and China, their ships will not be threatened, [but will have] securities for their safe passage through the Red Sea because free navigation plays a significant role in our country.”
India, whose External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyan Jaishankar had made a major visit to Iran on Jan. 14-15, and discussed India’s concerns over Red Sea shipping safety with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, also stressed its independence of the clearly pro-Israel, U.S.-led “coalition” counterattacking Houthi batteries in Yemen. “We are doing our best to secure the Indian shipping lines, and also giving support to others. We are not part of any multilateral arrangement,” said MEA Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal on Jan. 18 according to the Hindu BusinessLine on “India’s diplomatic drive” over the Red Sea situation.